Monday, June 16, 2014

Fun Monday - June 16: When I grow up...

I always envied the kids who had a clear-cut idea of what they wanted to be when they grew up.  My high school graduating class has numerous lawyers, a few doctors, business men and other varied careers.  The closest I ever came to knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up was a veterinarian.

And mostly, that was because of this:

I LOVED James Herriot.  I wanted to BE James Herriot - even with his arm disappearing inside a cow.  I thought this was my path in life and even spent a summer working at a vet's office caring for animals, cleaning cages, holding them and even watching surgery.  I think it was the smell of blood during surgery that made me realize that being a vet was not for me.  It didn't make me sick, but it was unpleasant enough that I didn't want to be around it every day.

All of this left me at a loss.  A few years went by while I tried on different ideas and discarded them all.  My actual "career" was an accident. 

Being in the "gifted" program at school, I did a lot of different things, but when I was in high school they decided to try an "Executive Internship" program, where the student would leave school for 6 months and try out a career for school credit.  The other people got spots in the Governor's office, the Forestry division, at the newspaper...  and I couldn't figure out what to do.  On the last day before I had to forfeit my spot, my dad called the general manager at the public television station and asked if he could use a free employee for a while.  When he said yes, Dad told me to jump on it and make that my internship.  I did.

As it turned out, I loved doing it.  Not just running a camera or floor directing or running the audio board, editing or doing graphics... I loved that I worked in public television.  I did that internship and when I graduated from school in January, they hired me in February.  I continued working there until I got married, then  moved to Oklahoma where I did that for a while at a commercial station.  I added film-editing and paid voice-work to my resume there, but it wasn't public television. 

I worked for the FAA for 5 years at their Air Traffic Control Training Academy as a word processor.  I briefly contemplated becoming an accident investigator, but my then-husband was dead set against it.  He was pretty much against anything I wanted to do, so eventually I left and came back to where I grew up and got a job in television production again, doing local news and commercials for the CBS affiliate because that's who was hiring.  When I heard of a spot opening up at the public TV station though, I went and applied.  A friend from long ago was doing the hiring and when he asked me if I could do Traffic, I said yes.  Then I asked what that was.  Luckily, he knew me well and knew that if I said I could do it, I could.  I've been doing this for 23 years now.  I still enjoy it and I still love working for PBS.  I don't make a lot of money doing this, and I'm not changing the world with my career, but I like to thing that being a cog in the machine that brings you PBS programming, I'm doing my part to make the world a better place.


Jill said...

and arent' we all lucky to have you?

ChrisB said...

Now I've learned something about your interesting career. I'm a firm believer that things turn out as they are meant to be!!!

joanygee said...

Wow what a varied curriculum vitae. Makes mine pale into insignificance. I love reading your blog.